Thanks to the new Classic Heroes project that will collect all five Zorro novels and 59 shorter adventures for the first time ever (details HERE), I have Zorro on the brain.
This 1936 Republic film is surely the most overlooked of all American Zorro movies, because it does not have Zorro in the title.
The Bold Caballero pales in comparison to The Mark of Zorro (1920 or 1940), I’ll admit, but those are truly great films. This one is merely pretty good, but the fact that it’s a Zorro film makes up for much of what it lacks.
And it notches up a few firsts. The first Zorro with sound, the first in color (albeit a defunct two-strip process) and the first from Republic. And in still another first, our hero - in his Don Diego duds - sings. It may also be the only film in which Zorro wears a full-face mask.
In this one, our man Zorro is framed for the murder of the governor and is in danger of being hanged. Robert Livingston (best known as Stoney Brooke of the Three Mesquiteers) is supported by a bunch of no-names, but if you look quick you might see such notable bit players as Yakima Canutt, Iron Eyes Cody and Slim Whitaker.
And to my great surprise, the whole film is available - in one piece - on YouTube, and the quality is pretty dang good. Take a look!
More Overlooked Films at SWEET FREEDOM.